Work continues on monument to honour Sikh soldiers

Work is continuing on a statue to remember Sikh soldiers who fought to the last man.

Councillor Bhupinder Singh Gakhal and members of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Wednesfield view the monument to the 36th Sikh Regiment being sculpted by Luke Perry
Councillor Bhupinder Singh Gakhal and members of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Wednesfield view the monument to the 36th Sikh Regiment being sculpted by Luke Perry

The 10ft statue, which has been commissioned by the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Wednesfield, is being created by Sandwell-based sculptor Luke Perry. It will commemorate the battle of Saragarhi, a battle in 1897 which saw 21 Sikh soldiers defend the outpost in northern India.

The 36th Sikh Regiment were surrounded by thousands of Afghan tribesman and chose to fight to the death to defend their post in what is considered by military historians to be one of the greatest last stands in history.

Councillor Bhupinder Singh Gakhal and members of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Wednesfield view the monument to the 36th Sikh Regiment being sculpted by Luke Perry

Earlier this month, Wolverhampton councillors unanimously voted in favour of leasing land near Wednesfield Library to the Gurdwara for the statue to be located.

A plaque will also be placed at the memorial which will read: “In tribute to the 21 men of the 36th Sikh Regiment whose bravery became part of history at the Battle of Saragarhi – 12 September 1897”.

The monument is expected to be unveiled in Wednesfield in September 2021

Mr Perry also created the Lions of the Great War memorial, which is located in Smethwick.

Mr Perry said: “It could be the best artwork that I have ever made, it is – in this country – a forgotten part of British, Sikh, Empire history.”

The monument is set to be unveiled on September 12, the 124th anniversary of the battle.

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